What are Pulmonary Function Tests(PFTs)?

Pulmonary Function Tests are lung tests that are performed in order to determine if a person is suffering from any sort of breathing difficulties. These tests are noninvasive so one can take comfort in the thought that there will be no poking, prodding, or cutting you.

What is the purpose of PFTs?

If you feel any discomfort while breathing that is probably because your lungs are not functioning efficiently. To understand the underlying problem, these tests are done to determine the cause and perform the necessary diagnosis. Commonly Pulmonary Function Tests are done to know if a patient has asthma, Allergies, scarred lung tissue, sarcoidosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, hardening and thickening of lung tissues, infections, and weak walls of muscles.

What are the processes involved in pulmonary function tests?

When you visit your doctor to perform PFTs, based on your external condition they will choose a test to determine what kind of condition you have. Each test has its way of working and requirements.

Spirometry:
Spirometry is a common type of test that is conducted on patients. They help the doctor get an approximation of much air one can inhale and exhale. They help in the determination of asthma and COPD.

Body plethysmography:
The patient will be asked to inhale deeply and to hold them for a time. Doing so helps them understand the maximum capacity of air their lungs can hold.

Lung diffusion Capacity:
The pft test for lungs is done to see how oxygen moves from the lungs to other parts of your body. It is similar to spirometry. It helps in diagnosing conditions connected with veins between your heart and lungs and whether your lungs are harmed because of illnesses like emphysema.

Bronchial provocation tests:
This test is done to diagnose conditions like asthma. It helps your doctor understand how severe your asthma condition is

Cardiopulmonary exercise stress test:
This is done to measure the heart and lung strength. It is conducted on patients who have heart or lung diseases.

Pulse oximetry test:
To know oxygen levels in the blood. The gadget with which the test is done utilizes light to quantify oxygen levels in the blood.

How does one prepare for PFTs for lungs?

Before going in for tests, ask your doctor to elaborate on the procedure. Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes, do not smoke or inhale any substances before the tests, do not eat a large meal, drink alcohol, or perform hard exercises right before.

What does a PFTs test for lungs show?

The results take about 15 to 20 mins. You might feel tired after a test, thus the patient is asked to rest before resuming regular activities. If the results are “normal” it means your lungs are healthy. This is entirely based on a person’s age, gender, and lifestyle.
If the results are not up to the mark, then it might indicate that you might have a problem with your lungs that requires immediate attention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Playing out these tests is by and large safe yet some will generally encounter discombobulation, dizziness, an asthma assault, and coughing.
PFT tests for lungs are not suggested assuming that they have gone through a medical procedure on the eyes, chest, or paunch, individuals have respiratory failure conditions, an aneurysm in the stomach, chest, or mind, and a functioning state of tuberculosis.

Your initial move toward having simple breathing and healthy lungs are Pulmonary Function Tests.

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